Want It Wednesday: Toronto Tea Festival 2017

The Toronto Tea Festival took place on January 28th and 29th, I am very late to the game talking about it. I went on vacation the very next day and have been swamped since getting back. There was lots that I wanted to get at this years show, here are a few:

1(F&B Tea Co.)
Tea face scrubs. Treat yo self.


(Tea Life)
Tea-ShirtsIt’s a black tea day today.


(Tea Life)
I had too hard a time choosing between Tea-Shirts and Tea-Mugs so they both made the list.


(Lemon Lily and Au Naturel)
Matcha deodorant! 

9(Boreal Wildcraft)
I have featured this mug on a Want It Wednesday before. But I really want one.

Why I Love Tea: Emily Vallevand


Last week my friend Emily Vallevand came over to talk tea. Emily and I first met working at David’s Tea. Emily started working for the company over 5 years ago in Regina. In 2013 she transferred to the Yorkdale mall location in Toronto, where I was working at the time. Even though I have since moved on to new things, Emily and I have stayed in touch getting together for dinners, drinks and of course tea. Emily loves working at David’s Tea, she has stayed on with the company, although she has had to cut back on shifts because of her career as a freelance interior decorator.


Rachel: Why do you love tea?

Emily: I’ve always thought that tea is what brings people together. When I was little it was the way that our family included us in the grownup aspect of things, after dinner they would say “who wants a tea?” and all the kids would be like “yea I want one!” because you would feel like one of the grown ups. And then I got older and it became a thing with friends to meet up and and have a tea and try this new place or new thing. I think there is so much variety to it that you can like, or appreciate everything and share what you enjoy with others. It brings everyone together, it’s just this warm fun thing you can have together.

Rachel: What is your favorite tea?

Emily: I don’t have a favorite tea, I like tea. I drink different teas for different occasions, different times of the day and for different reasons. If I was going about my daily tea drinking routine: I normally like to start my day with a black tea with a heavier, richer, bolder flavor. I sometimes in the morning enjoy putting a little bit of sugar and a little bit of milk in. In the afternoon I prefer to have a white tea a green tea or sometimes an oolong. White tea is my preference over green tea, but there are a few green teas that I like. In the evening I find I can’t really drink caffeine because it stimulates me too much and I’ll stay up all night. If I need a boost in the late afternoon I will drink a rooibos because it is very high in antioxidants and is very hydrating, I find that it can often give me enough of a boost without the caffeine. Then in the evening I will have a nice herbal tea or another rooibos.  


Rachel: Why do you prefer white tea over green?

Emily: I prefer the flavor palate of white tea. Green tea has that grassy or oceanic seaweed flavor that sometimes is just a little too much for me. White tea even if it has a little bit of that grassy flavor it is more towards the sweet pea or vegetal side which I prefer.

Rachel: How many cups of tea do you drink in a day?

Emily: I would say, in my normal routine a minimum of five. In the morning when I get to work I could have a cup or two first thing just checking my email. Then throughout the day I usually just keep pouring that kettle, I usually just drink all day.



Rachel: We are getting ready to enjoy a cup of tea now, what are you making us?
Emily: We are going to have Kenyan Tinderet from David’s Tea. Like I was saying my favorite thing is to start my day with something to eat and a nice cup of strong tea; this is one of my favorites. I drink pretty much exclusively David’s Tea but not because it’s the only tea out there or the best. Even though I am open other companies, I think David’s has a lot of great stuff, and since I work there and I am just always at David’s Tea so that’s where most of my collection is from. The thing I like about Kenyan Tinderet is that is very bold and black but it has a crisp honey note to it. I was thinking about what treats would pair well with it so I also bought pain au chocolat I think the butteriness and the honey flavor will go together really nicely.


The tea was bold and strong, the snacks were a delicious touch and accompanied the tea perfectly, and the company was just the best.


BeauTEA: Matcha Green Tea Face Mask


Do you have some matcha in your cupboard that is not so fresh anymore? Don’t throw it out! You can use older matcha to make all kinds of baked goods and beauty products. Making a matcha green tea face mask is incredibly fast and easy, there is also an added bonus of getting to look like a ninja turtle for a bit.

Many websites I looked at while researching this made claims that matcha is great for your skin for a few different reasons:

Matcha has approximately 70mg* of caffeine vs.  25mg* in a cup of steeped green tea. Caffeine has been shown to constrict blood vessels, it can temporarily reduce swelling and decrease puffy under-eye circles.The ingredient also acts as a diuretic, dehydrating fat cells and making skin appear smoother, for a short time.

I also came across some claims that the large amounts of antioxidants in matcha can help slow down or even stop your skin from ageing. I am more than just a little bit skeptical of these claims. However I do believe that taking a moment out of your day to do something relaxing for yourself can help you feel better internally and that this will in turn show itself externally in the form of a big smile.


How to make it you need:
1 teaspoon matcha powder
1 teaspoon lemon juice

I used Lemon juice for an added yummy lemon smell, but water can also be used. If using water be sure it is room temperature, no one wants a cup of boiling tea in their face.

Mix until smooth and apply to clean face. Let the mask dry for 10-15min before washing off.

*Caffeine is difficult to assign an exact amount to. There are a number of variables that can alter caffeine content.